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Gatlin Wins 100M Silver; Watson Ties For Eighth In Golf

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USA Track and Field

Pensacola’s Justin Gatlin won the silver medal in the Men’s 100 meter sprint at the Olympic Games in Rio Sunday night.  The 2004 Olympic champion in Athens, Gatlin fell short of his quest to reclaim the title as “world’s fastest man,” losing to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt by just .08 seconds.

During the race, Gatlin got off to a great start, but at about the 60-meter mark, Bolt accelerated past the competition to win in 9.81 seconds. Gatlin finished second in 9.89. They posted the fastest times posted during the 2016 Olympics.

For Bolt, he’s accomplished an unprecedented feat in winning his third consecutive gold medal in the 100m, now with seven Olympic gold medals. The Jamaican superstar won for the first time at that distance at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, when Gatlin was serving a suspension for a doping suspension. He also defeated Gatlin in the final in 2012 in London, where Gatlin finished third and earned a bronze. The graduate of Pensacola’s Woodham High School now has five total Olympic medals.

Gatlin and Bolt will next compete in the men’s 200 meters, with first round heats getting underway on Tuesday. Also, they will lead their countries in the Men’s 4 x 100 Relay, which starts on Thursday.

Bubba Watson

Pensacola’s Bubba Watson missed out on the medals the Men’s Golf competition, which returned to the Olympic Games in Rio after an absence of more than 100 years.

Watson had a strong third round, with four birdies in his first five holes. He posted a second straight four-under 67 to put himself back in contention for a spot on the podium. He was in fourth place, three strokes out of the medals going into the final round on Sunday.

But, Watson was not able to keep the momentum and finished in a three-way tie for eighth at seven-under par. Great Britain’s Justin Rose won the gold. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson took the silver medal, and Watson’s USA teammate Matt Kuchar got hot during the final round to win the bronze.

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years. Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.